WEDDINGS
27/05/2016 3:46 AM AEST | Updated 28/05/2016 3:57 AM AEST

7 Marriage 'Rules' You Can Throw Out The Window, According To Experts

Some rules are meant to be broken.

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Everyone loves to give advice to newlyweds -- but not all of it is good. Here are the "rules" experts say you can break.

Turns out, some of the tried-and-true marriage advice given to newlyweds -- like "never go to bed angry" -- isn't so true after all. 

Here are seven marriage "no-nos" that really aren't that bad, according to experts.

1. Sleeping in separate beds.

"Sleeping in separate beds is often good if it leads to better quality sleep for each partner. One person's snoring and tossing and turning can often lead to resentment in a spouse. As long as there is still lots of time for cuddling before adjourning into separate rooms, many spouses find separate beds to be marriage saving." -- Samantha Rodman, clinical psychologist and dating coach

2. Saying “I don’t want to talk about it right now.”

"This phrase is not necessarily a communication-buster. Sometimes it serves a very useful and healthy purpose... you can step back from the discussion before it escalates into an argument. Unless it becomes a habit and a real barrier to communication, it’s okay to let your partner say: 'I can’t talk about this anymore, but I will be willing to do so later on. Let’s let it drop for now.' However, taking a break does not mean that the conversation’s over -- instead, it’s a consent to come back to the issue when the time is right." -- Karl Andrew Pillemer, author of "30 Lessons for Loving: Advice from the Wisest Americans on Love, Relationships, and Marriage

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Saying “I don’t want to talk about this right now" can actually be a good communication tactic.

3. Commenting on your spouse's weight gain.

"Most married couples want to be proud of the way their spouse looks. When excessive weight gain changes their spouse's appearance, many find it hard to deal with. It is more than just appearances -- it is also about health issues related to excessive weight gain. Successfully married couples understand that taking care of each other in a health sense is not sufficient. You must also promote the good health of your spouse. To live until 'death do us part' requires a mutual concern about good health, including taking proper medications, going to annual physicals, getting proper sleep and exercise." -- Dr. Liz Schmitz, co-author of "How to Marry the Right Guy" and "Building A Love That Lasts: The Seven Surprising Secrets of Successful Marriage"

4. Going to bed angry.

"Sometimes we just need time to cool off and sleep on it. One of the best things we can do is to take a break when things get heated and revisit it with a new mindset the next day. The real point behind not going to bed mad is leaving issues unresolved, but this can be prevented by agreeing to revisit and resolve it the next day, rather than having to do so before bed." -- Kurt Smith, clinical director of Guy Stuff Counseling & Coaching, a counseling practice that specializes in helping men

 

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Going to bed angry isn't the end of the world. Just make sure you resolve the argument at a better time.

4. Asking for some individual attention from your spouse.

"Married couples often report that they wish their spouse would pay more attention to them than to the kids. Even in a successful marriage, children add stress to a relationship because of the added demands on time and attention. When a mother or father focuses too much on the needs of the children in lieu of paying attention to their spouse, it will most assuredly be detrimental to their marriage. The quality of the relationship between husband and wife trumps everything else. Get it right and good things follow. Get it wrong and lots of bad things often happen." -- Charles Schmitz, co-author of "How to Marry the Right Guy" and "Building A Love That Lasts: The Seven Surprising Secrets of Successful Marriage"

6. Fantasizing about your ex.

"According to researchers, 98 percent of us fantasize about someone other than our spouse. That would mean that practically anyone who has ever had a fantasy (or a thought) has imagined being in bed with someone other than the person they are currently committed to in marital bliss. Fantasizing about your ex or someone else doesn’t necessarily mean that your marriage is in trouble. In fact, using fantasy and remembering positive sexual experiences from your past can juice up your own sex life with your partner, and your spouse doesn’t even have to know. There is a private space in your own imagination that you are allowed to use to create excitement when you are in bed with your partner. Using the erotic energy of a fantasy to have better sex can help your marriage, not hurt it." -- Tammy Nelson, certified sex therapist and the author of "The New Monogamy

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Sex therapist Tammy Nelson says 98 percent of people fantasize about someone other than their spouse -- and that's OK.

7. Fighting.

"I've seen the belief that fighting is a relationship 'death knell' prompt people to withdraw from their conflicts, leaving important issues unaddressed. No two people will always see eye-to-eye, nor will they always be graceful and gracious when they're upset. While I certainly don't condone meanness and strongly believe that nobody can do much listening when they're all worked up, recognizing and accepting that all couples have conflict is key. Learning how to be effective during your conflicts is a far better use of your energy than striving to have a marriage that is conflict-free." -- Winifred M. Reilly, psychotherapist specializing in marital therapy

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